what i've learned along the way
Just keep swimming . . . just keep swimming!
Published on May 4, 2008 By lobsterhunter In Religion

Why do I hate going to church so much? I woke up today wishing Keller weren’t so far away. In the beginning, I didn’t mind driving forty miles to hear Brandon speak because he was dynamic and his sermons provoked questions and deep thinking. Lately, his messages seem disconnected and haphazard. I don’t look forward to Sundays anymore, and they used to be my favorite day of the week.

 

If I am honest with myself, I know the issue is not the church. The problem is me. My spiritual condition has suffered during the last few years as I’ve traveled this road of disillusionment and frustration. I mentally contest every truth shared by local pastors, and I’ve grown to distrust most religious leaders. I can’t seem to get over the wounds I encountered from the conservative zealots who used guilt and condemnation to produce results. My perspective is skewed, and I filter every spiritual truth through the lenses of skepticism and doubt. Know wonder I dislike the sanctified eleven o’clock hour of torture I endure each week!

 

I don’t know how to fix this. I want to encounter God, but I don’t find Him at church anymore. I see him in the faces of my fourth graders as they rough-house in my backyard during an after TAKS celebration party. I recognize His presence when I share personal struggles with precious friends like Penny and Debbie. I hear His voice through the gentle, reassuring words of my husband who reminds me I’m beautiful and worthy. I sense His spirit when I’m attempting to set boundaries with my often overbearing siblings. God is everywhere, yet I cling to this archaic idea that I must experience Him within the walls of the church. 

 

I desire spiritual depth. I long to feel connected to my Maker. I crave a vibrant, healthy relationship with Jesus. But I’m stuck. And I don’t know how to keep moving forward. Solutions seem elusive, and my old demons whisper, “Tenille, you will never be enough  . . .”

 

My students were watching Finding Nemo the other day, and a particular line from the film lingers in my mind. I can hear it now as it reverberates in my head, bouncing off the walls of my brain . . .  

 

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . . ”

 

God, please help me. I feel like my faith is drowning.


Comments (Page 1)
on May 04, 2008
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . . ”


...and let it be. Hang in there and keep going.

2 Corinthians 12:9
on May 04, 2008

Are you in a small group at your church?

Fellowship with other believers is one of the best ways to stay in touch with God.

on May 04, 2008

erathoniel
Are you in a small group at your church?Fellowship with other believers is one of the best ways to stay in touch with God.

No. Actually I am not. Although, I do have amazing friends outside the church who nourish my soul and help me grow in my faith. Does that count?

 

on May 04, 2008

Does that count?

Everything counts.

I do believe "church" as we know it is driving the younger generation away.  No matter where I live, there always seems to be a separation between generations.

Older people (though you may consider me older) were taught to see God in a more authoritarian way.  So their worship tends to reflect it.  Younger generations are seeing God as someone who can matter in our everyday, moment to moment, lives.

I don't think most churches today have made the jump toward the younger generation.  Some do, most don't.  So we have a whole generation of unchurched folk who feel like Sunday church is tired, something their forced to endure.

I don't have any easy answers.  Honestly, established churches with the older mindset fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.

If this church is not meeting the spiritual need in your life, then maybe start a small home group Bible study once a week. 

I do believe it is imperative to have a faith partner.  Someone who believes as you do and will talk about their walk/your walk together.  God never designed us to be alone, not in love, and not in our daily walking and obedience.

I heard once Satan's best thing to do is isolate us.  I don't know if Satan does that so much as he uses the opportunity to weaken our faith.

So don't isolate yourself! 

on May 04, 2008

@ Lobsterhunter: Yes, having any support group will work. I just said small group because it's a more structured system you might be able to find through the church.

on May 04, 2008
"And the Lord said, 'Don't be so hard on yourself, for if it is peace you seek then relax and allow it to come. If you feel me in the world, then that is where you should look for me. A church is but a building, but I am everywhere if you believe it so.'"

-Book of Zoo 12:34



~Zoo
on May 05, 2008

"And the Lord said, 'Don't be so hard on yourself, for if it is peace you seek then relax and allow it to come. If you feel me in the world, then that is where you should look for me. A church is but a building, but I am everywhere if you believe it so.'"


You've actually got something there, kudos zoo. :CONGRATS:

 

on May 05, 2008
If God is anywhere, it is anywhere. So why waste your time in church?
on May 05, 2008

If God is anywhere, it is anywhere. So why waste your time in church?

A) Because communion with God is far too important and complicated for the average person to ever try on their own. If they do, clearly they will screw it up, and quite often start having these crazy pipe dreams about actually loving your fellow man and giving up a life of materialism. The church makes it easy! They take away the burden of having to think for yourself by telling you what to think. The only thing you need to make it work is obedience.

In order for the church acting as intermediary (or access point) between you and God, naturally a little compensation is in order. 10 percent of your income is appreciated (before tax of course)

on May 05, 2008

I have missed for the last few weeks.  I sometimes find my mind wandering and it's like I'm a little kid again checking out people's shoes as they go to communion.  Now I just people watch.  I try.  I pray.  I think I'm in the same boat except I don't make myself go every week.  I also drive about 25 miles to my church.  It is a very open minded church.  I have always had issues with the churches that teach "what we believe is right, what everyone else believes is wrong, we're going to heaven, they're not". 

on May 05, 2008
"And the Lord said, 'Don't be so hard on yourself, for if it is peace you seek then relax and allow it to come. If you feel me in the world, then that is where you should look for me. A church is but a building, but I am everywhere if you believe it so.'"


Could I have a copy of this book? I think it beats my KJV.

on May 05, 2008
You've actually got something there, kudos zoo


*psh* You know it.

Could I have a copy of this book? I think it beats my KJV.


If I'd ever get around to writing it...sure.

~Zoo

on May 05, 2008

Zoologist03
"And the Lord said, 'Don't be so hard on yourself, for if it is peace you seek then relax and allow it to come. If you feel me in the world, then that is where you should look for me. A church is but a building, but I am everywhere if you believe it so.'"-Book of Zoo 12:34~Zoo

Zoo,

I always look forward to reading your comments. As Tony the Tiger would say, "They're GRRREAT!"

Nice job here of listening and encouraging WITHOUT offering some "instant solution" or "quick fix."

~SH80

on May 05, 2008
Just wanted to let you know that I read this and I'm thinking about you. Definitely no religious answers coming from me.
on May 05, 2008

I appreciate everyones thoughts and encouragement. It's nice to know I have fellow strugglers . . .

I wish life came with an easy button . . .

http://www.oculuspress.com/picture$512

Then again, the search for answers is half the fun, right?

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